How to Remove Wisteria

These recommendations are primarily for homeowners and communities that would like to start working in their neighborhood greenspace. For each species, we recommend herbicide-free control methods but have added an herbicide option for some species for those who are comfortable using them. These methods were selected while keeping in mind limiting soil disturbance, reducing herbicide use, and avoiding harm to other species that may be present whether they be other plants/animals. Manual removal is possible for all of them if you have the time. If the infestation is overwhelmingly severe/large, we suggest you look into professional control.


Removal Difficulty: Hard


Removal difficulty is rated as hard because wisteria is very difficult to control. If the infestation is of high density, look into professional control.

 

Wisteria climbing up a tree

A curtain of climbing wisteria

 

Wisteria spreading on the forest floor

Wisteria growing in the ground layer

 

Cut and Treat

Wisteria climbs mature trees to reach sunlight and wraps around tree trunks like a constrictor. As the tree grows outward, these vines girdle the tree. To stop this, sever vines at the base of trees. Do not attempt to pull vines down that are above your reach. Cutting at the base will kill the vine above the cut, and they will eventually dry up and fall off.

 

Cutting wisteria vine

Use hand pruners or a hand saw to cut vine at chest height

 

Follow vines down to the ground, use a handsaw to cut at the base, and treat with herbicide. We use a high concentrate (between 18-50%), glyphosate-based solution. and add in an indicator dye to keep track of what has been treated. Be sure not to spray the herbicide anywhere but on the woody stem. Treat within 5-10 minutes, otherwise, the wound will dry and the herbicide will not be absorbed. Only treat stems that are of 0.5” in diameter or larger.

 

Pulling back wisteria vine

Pull back vine to make a clean cut

 

Cutting wisteria at base of stem

Cut stem as close to the ground as possible

 

Applying herbicide to wisteria root base

Apply herbicide directly to stem within 5-10 minutes after cutting

 

If you have any questions about this guide please email restoration@treesatlanta.org.